Hyundai-led Consortium Postpones Asiana Buyout as Debts Mount

  • By Kim Kang-han

    June 10, 2020 12:09

    Property developer HDC Hyundai Development asked creditors on Tuesday to reconsider the terms of buying Asiana Airlines, whose debts have surged by more than W4.5 trillion this year amid the coronavirus epidemic (US$1=W1,201).

    A consortium of HDC and Mirae Asset had agreed to buy Asiana for W2.5 trillion and already paid a W250 billion deposit. Creditors Korea Development Bank and Export–Import Bank of Korea have agreed to postpone the deadline for the takeover by six months to Dec. 27.

    That reduces the chances of the deal falling through entirely, but the negotiations are expected to be bumpy.

    Meanwhile, Jeju Air's acquisition of rival budget carrier Eastar Jet has also run into trouble. The two airlines have been locked in a dispute over which side will pay W2.5 billion in back wages since February.

    The amount of unpaid wages is much higher than the W1.2 billion Jeju Air paid Eastar Jet as down payment for the purchase. The acquisition could fall through if the dispute is not resolved.

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